Malawi National Lotteries shutting down

There is tension among employees at the country’s lottery company, the Malawi National Lotteries (MNL) which is feared to be on the verge of closure following its failure to register substantial profits over the past 12 months.

Sources within the company said on Monday that the company had started packing equipment in readiness for the closure and that some employees have since been served with letters terminating their services.

One of the sacked employees who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed having received a letter of dismissal and the tension that has engulfed the institution.

Chief Executive Officer of National Lottery Group (NLG), Allen Cheng: Closing shop
“I believe the company is shutting down; they have made huge losses and they don’t have money to continue their operations here in Malawi. Those still with the company are in the dark about their future.

“We have been informed that we will receive a one-month salary on top of what we are supposed to get this month,” bemoaned the employee.

The former employee said they would not challenge for their benefits in the court for fear of losing out more.

“To say the truth, one month salary equivalent is just peanuts but we can’t go to court because we know the company has no money so we might just waste our precious time,” added the employee.

The MNL Public Relations Officer, Fatima Nkata could not be reached on her mobile phone.

However, Philip Banda, who is Public Relations writer, denied the company was heading for closure.

“That is not true. I am still working and I have been at the office since morning and there is nothing like that happening,” said Banda.

When asked about the sacked employees Banda described it as normal saying, “That’s just a retrenchment. Every company reaches a time when it has to lay off some of its employees.”

Other sources say the company’s management has directed that only service centres will be selling lottery tickets and that all selling machines have been blocked and recalled from different areas.

When Mana reporter visited the Blantyre service center it found out that the flat screen that was mounted in the hall, together with the Public Address System have been dismounted, and that there was dead silence as opposed to when there were all along adverts about MNL playing one after the other.

MNL which is registered with the National Lotteries Board was officially launched in December last year and it has benefited a good number of people including the national football team and the Miss Malawi pageant through prizes and donations.

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